How much do you want to see the face of God? If you are not interested read no further. The first step is to stop following evil. The Bible says, “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God” (III John 1:11). This is the most difficult step because in our minds we have not crossed the line by doing evil. In our minds, we say, “We have not done evil, we have only observed it.” We live in a world of observers. That’s what we do. From morning till night we follow evil by observing it. Before you object, ask yourself how many times have you shared the evil in the world with others, in person or on Social Media. Satan has tricked our minds into believing that as long as we sit in the comfort of our own homes observing evil on television or YouTube or Social Media then we have not done anything wrong. We have tricked our minds, with a little help from Satan, into believing that we have not crossed the line by following evil. We object by saying, we are just observing it! Yet, to observe evil constantly is to follow it. How did we ever get here?
At the beginning of our modern age our observing of evil started as simply play-acting, it wasn’t really happening, it was all make-believe. Now things are substantially different. We have passed very quickly from the make-believe or acting to what’s really happening. No longer are we satisfied with the simple reporting that something cruel and inhumane has happened, now the world wants to see the evil actually taking place on cable news, on YouTube, or Social Media. This is not unlike the ancient arenas where Christians were essentially fed to the wild beasts for the amusement of the spectators. Not unlike the ancients the modern world now wants to desperately follow the evil. They rush to turn on the cable news to witness the latest massacre of men, women, and children shot full of holes or burnt to a crisp. Others today have tricked their minds into believing that they are just doing research. Here’s the problem, however, the more they follow evil the easier it eventually becomes to do the evil. Step by step they are led by the hand of the enemy from becoming only observers to becoming doers of evil. When we follow this same behavior then we will never see the face of God.
Therefore, if we truly stop following evil, then we will not so easily fall into the trap of doing evil. If we stop following evil, by observing it, then it will also give us an abundant amount of time to follow righteousness. To follow righteousness then we need to find righteousness, which is difficult to do in an evil world, but not impossible. We need to follow the good we see in the Bible and also in the teachings of godly men and women. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul said, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9). Although we cannot observe the Apostle’s character, we can learn from His writings inspired by the Holy Spirit. Writings that speak directly to our hearts through the indwelling Spirit that motivates us to walk in love and righteousness. Godly men and women throughout Christian history have also blazed the trail in opening the door to righteous living. I personally love to read some of the very old authors, like Thomas A. Kempis, Jeanne Guyon, and Feneoln along with the modern-day teachers, such as, A.W. Tozer and W. Ian Thomas, who have all fought the good fight against the evil of their day by walking in righteousness. If we want to see the face of God, let us follow the good and be doers of righteousness.
Of course, the absolute pinnacle of righteousness is the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and specifically, His teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, which I might add is very relevant for our day and should be followed. I am appalled that most Christians have no idea what the Sermon on the Mount says, and the ones that do, explain great portions of it away by saying that they are way too difficult for our day and must be meant for some future dispensation. This is one of the great lies of Satan. Every word in the Sermon is relevant for our day and time. The fallen world wants to quickly explain away Christ’s teachings in the Sermon on non-retaliation. To turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and give to them that ask is a true measure of our righteousness before a Holy God (See Matthew 5:38-42). Jesus ended His Sermon by saying, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon the rock” (Matthew 7:24; See vv.25-27). Through the grace and power of God, we will obey all of His glorious teachings. Believe me, to follow the good in others along with the teachings of Christ and His Apostles will more than adequately fill up your time and bring us closer to seeing the face of God.
Once we have stopped following the evil and start following the good, then we will be helped by the indwelling Spirit to complete our transformation in Christ, which I am very sad to say that many believers in our day have not even begun. As we grow closer to Christ, the further we will be separated from the evil in the world. Every moment of every day will be filled with attempting to follow the will of God by rebuking the old sin nature and listening to the indwelling Spirit. We will discover soon enough that if we keep in step with the Spirit, we don’t think much about the letter of the law because He writes His beautiful law on our hearts demonstrating that true love fulfills His commands. In time our transformation in Christ will become a reality as we draw closer, and closer, to Him each day to behold the face of God. Peace, tranquility, and joy barely describe the vision of God in the face of Christ. As we behold the beatific vision of God, we are in ultimate direct communication with our Creator. Immediately all pain, worry, fear, and temptation by the old sin nature are completely dissipated as we bask in the light of His glory. Once there, you will not want to leave, for it truly gives us a foretaste of things to come.
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